Are you Thinking About Going Paperless?

If you’ve been to a surplus store lately, you’ve probably noticed a plethora of file cabinets. This surge in used file cabinets must be linked to the number of companies transitioning to a “paperless” workplace.    Paperless is never truly paperless, but most company documents can be stored electronically.

For many, the decision to go paperless can be daunting and confusing.  Many times employees resist the idea of change.  It is the change in workflow that causes the most concern.   The change from a manila file to an electronic file can be intimidating.  However,  in today’s office  many documents are retrieved specifically to email to someone else.  Electronic documents are perfect for this workflow.

People are more open to going paperless today.   They are doing it personally with their bankinghouseman-empty-files-web or store purchases.   The office equipment industry has been a major player in the move to go paperless.   Scanning to folders or email is one of the most popular features on today’s equipment.   With additional software and workflow design, these features can be the beginning of the paperless solutions that offices are seeking.   With proper design work, the electronic version should look and feel similar to the traditional paper version.

Nobody likes to file into a file cabinet.   The same can be said for paperless solutions.  For that reason, proper setup and design is important.  With proper design and setup, the filing process can often be automated to scan and file the document without human interaction.

Unlike file cabinets, the retrieval process is the payoff.   Within seconds, a quick search returns the documents.   You can satisfy your customer almost immediately instead of promising to call them back when you find it.

There are many reasons companies go paperless.   Common reasons include security, file sharing, disaster recovery, physical space, outsourcing, or simply the desire to modernize the workplace.

There are a few general questions to consider to convert to paperless:

  • Who needs access and more importantly, who does not?  Security and compliance are often the biggest questions to be asked.
  • What unusual workflows need to be considered?  For example, do different employees need different parts of pages of a large document?
  • How are current file cabinets organized and can we automate the process?  What information needs to be auto populated to streamline the new process?  The more familiar the feel, the greater the buy-in for employees.

By doing the diligent design work up front, your transition to paperless will be much easier.  Then, your hardest decision will be where to send those old file cabinets.